Tuesday, September 27, 2011


 It's hard to believe that we are sooooooo close to the finish line.

A year is so long and so short all at the same time.

We've been tracking the last month with a paper chain. Skylar rips one off each night before bed. (I've had to add a few while she was sleeping since she logically assumed ripping them off quicker would bring daddy home sooner).

She loves going to bed every night just to rip a link off the chain.

She never, ever forgets.


It's just so exciting!

She can't say "daddy's coming home!" she can only SCREAM it.


Two days left. That's it. TWO. Is that even possible?

Thank you thank you thank you to all of our family and long time friends who have been so encouraging this year. The prayers, texts, e-mails, letters, facebook messages, phone calls, care packages to Micah (and even Skylar and I!)--we appreciate it more than we can express!

Stay tuned for REUNION pics:)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Home made pudding pops.

I know popsicle season is over.

But popsicle molds are on clearance at Wally World for $2. And really there is no such thing as popsicle season at our house since we always have them in the freezer. I figured it was worth picking up a pack or three and spending the 5 minutes to make some.

My slightly OCD assistant washed the molds for me and then lined them up in color-coded rows to dry.

Basic pudding pop recipe:

1 box of pudding mix
2 cups of milk
1 tub of cool whip

I didn't have cool whip, so I used a leftover tub of ricotta cheese I had from the Italian deli next door. This isn't like the regular ricotta I've gotten before, it was the real stuff--almost a cream cheese consistency. I figured it would reduce the sugar, add some protein, and quadruple the fat. And well....I just needed to get rid of the ricotta cheese. They actually taste good. You would never know it's ricotta.

My recipe:

1 box of cook and serve chocolate pudding made according to the box (I know it's more work but it tastes soooooo much better)
A cup of ricotta cheese mixed into the pudding while it's still warm

The perfect treat after ballet class. Rehearsing your elf routine for the Christmas Recital is hard work. (Seriously, the little ones are elves....total rip-off...why not a sugar plum fairy or something fun??)

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Photo dump: the farm edition

This past weekend we took a quick trip to Highland Falls to see my parents and grandparents that were visitng from North Carolina. The weather was beautiful, so we decided to take the kids apple picking. In the end, we didn't do any apple picking because there were too many other fun things at the farm to do. They had a child-size town with ten different buildings to play in, assorted animals, a maze, pumpkin patch, yummy food, hay rides, etc.

Finley was ready for his first day at the farm...

She doesn't stop talking long enough for me to take a decent picture....

There were tiny pumpkins in the tiny field behind the tiny stable in the tiny village.....

The horses were a big hit.....

She kept going back....

And then there was a dog the size of a horse.....

Sweet Papa....

Riding the fire truck in the little fire station....

Chubs McGee about got his little thighs squeezed right off by Nana....

Skylar ran the counter in the Ice Cream Shop. She took orders, used the cash register and told everyone to have a nice day.  My dad pointed out that when she decided to become a customer and sit at the counter instead, chaos ensued. Apparently her peers needed her to be extremely bossy the leader.

Um, Grandpa....we'd like one of these playhouses at GraceFull Acres farm please???? Thanks!

Oh yeah, and there were apples....

Tuckered out in the wagon.....

Fun, fun, fun.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The bubbliest.

What happens when you add way to much just a few drops of soap to a whirlpool tub and then turn the jets on? (My mom swears it was "just a few drops".)

The same thing that happens when you put the wrong soap in the dishwasher. 

Bubbles everywhere

It was a mess.

And quite possibly one of the funnest bubble baths ever.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What to do with fabric scraps.

Here are a few ways I've been using scraps and leftover pieces of fabric {since I have lots of projects but NO quilting aspirations}.

Last summer I used a hodge podge of fabric squares to recover the bench in the guest room....

Before that there was Skylar's little pillow that has become her favorite and she sleeps on every night.

I came across this pin cushion idea a couple of years ago and stashed it in the back of my brain. I remember from sewing with my Nana how handy they are. So when I came across a sturdy little tea cup for $1 at a local antique store, I brought it home, washed it and approximately 3 minutes later....voila!....pin cushion. I don't love the way it looks, but it works.

Home made taggies. All the credit for this goes to Cynthia, who showed me one she had made in her sewing class. She did not however give me any instructions. It appears easy, but I had to rip that sucker apart four times before I got it right. So do yourself a favor and google a tutorial or contact Cynthia to save yourself some time. Or just think it through before you start...that's always helpful. After you figure out, it's a piece of cake.

Since it has crinkly plastic in the middle, Finley loves to play with his. Not only does it use up fabric scraps and an old wipey bag, they also help deplete my enormous ribbon supply....win, win, win.

Then of course there are the easy applique tee's that make an appearance annually....

I also went through a fleeting head band stage a couple of winters ago....

A couple other ideas that I may eventually try are these coasters and this wreath.

If you have any other fun/useful ideas feel free to pass them along!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On 9/11.

This past week leading up to 9/11 all kinds of tributes have been swirling around on blogs, facebook, television....And I'll admit, I've paid very little attention to them.

It's not because I don't care. Of course I do.

Just like everyone else, I remember exactly where I was when I heard that the plane had struck the first tower, and then the second. I remember being glued to the TV in horror watching the footage of them collapsing.

It was to our generation what JFK's assassination was to our parents, and Pearl Harbor was to our grandparents. A pivotal and horrific moment in history that will never escape our memory.

Except that just like with most things, time seems to erode the shock of it.

But then I started watching some of the footage tonight, and listening to the individual stories, and remembering again the suffering of all of those innocent people.

And suddenly my evening plans didn't seem so appealing as I thought about all the widows, widowers, parentless children....the families and friends that live with the loss every day as the world moves on around them.

Every September 11th the country pays it's tribute (as it should) and then goes right back to it's own life again. It's politically correct to be patriotic on this day. Not so much every other day.

And that angers me.

What about those who are daily living with the consequences of that day? Ten years later our soldiers are still fighting what is now being dubbed a "forgotten war". Thousands of Americans have lost their lives since 9/11. And thousands of children are growing up without one or both parents at home as a result of war.

In fact, the children of this war are sacrificing more on a daily basis than the average New Yorker who pays tribute on 9/11 can even fathom.

Yes, we chose the military life. Micah was commissioned during a time of war. That is not a decision we regret, despite the consequences on our family and personal life. While we as individuals obviously didn't choose war, it is our reality, and we did choose to marry men (or women) who are fighting in it. And of course it's hard. But nobody ever said it was going to be easy. So we deal with it, make the best of it....choose to accept what we cannot control.

But then my daughter comes sobbing into my room in the middle of the night because she misses her daddy. And I look at my son who wasn't even kicking in the womb yet when his daddy left, and now he has teeth, and giggles, and has a little personality.....and Micah has missed all but two weeks of it. I don't feel sorry for myself. But I do feel sorry for them. It occurs to me that they are paying for 9/11 every day and they weren't even born yet.

At least we have the hope of being together again, while many families--both from 9/11 and the resulting war--do not.

So of course we remember on 9/11.

But what about the other 364 days?

It appears that many Americans, myself included, are oblivious to the sacrifice going on around them every day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


What's the point of a neck anyway?

It's just a space between the head and shoulders, it serves no real purpose.

As long as you have a place to rest your cheeks, that's all that matters.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A tale of three golfers.

Skylar was given a hand-me-down bike from a friend, and this summer we've gotten into the routine of taking it for a daily spin down our street. To avoid crossing any busy roads, we stay on our block and pass exactly six houses. Then we are at the golf course at which point Skylar suddenly gets tired and drops her bike under the exact same tree every time.

It's pretty much the end of the ride.

Then if nobody is around and I tell her she can, she takes off and clmibs the "mountains" on the golf course. (The same "mountains" that become her sledding hills in the winter).

But if people are golfing nearby, then she drops her bike at Par 4 and sits on the bench and watches them tee-off. She's become a regular there. The golfers love her, and she loves them. She claps when they swing. They tell her how pretty she is. I roll my eyes say thank you.

Meanwhile Finley drools....

One day last week, she was perched on "her bench", wearing a tutu of course, when a gentleman offered her a golf ball. She ran over to the green and took it from him and said "WOW" with great reverance. Then he tried to give her a second golf ball. (I didn't let her take it).

A few minutes later another golfer asked Skylar if she would like a Tee for that golf ball. So she ran back up to the green and said "WOW!" again and then came back to show me. She whispered "I'm soooo lucky!"

Those two left and a few minutes later a third golfer came along. He saw Skylar on the bench and asked her if she would like to hit his ball for him. Would she ever! So she went running up to there for a third time and got a little golf lesson. She couldn't stop smiling and told me it was "the best day ever!"

The kindess of those strangers meant a lot to me because I know she's starved for male attention. Then I got to thinking......maybe if I set her up with a lemonade stand on the golf course she could start working and pay for college. They can't resist the tutu.

Just a thought.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The bare essentials.

How a three year old packs for a trip......

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Would you like thighs with that?

At 5 months old, Finley is in kind of a hurry to grow up. He's ready to take off....

Standing up is his favorite game. We say "big boy" and he giggles....

And check out those meaty thighs. Especially when compared to Skylar's.

Those rolls aren't squishy either. This kid is dense. My scale said he weighed 20 pounds this morning. No wonder I have a constant back ache. Maybe he does need to start walking and help a mother out!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Life according to Skylar.

Some thoughts Skylar has shared lately, usually spontaneous and unrelated to anything going on around her.....

On marriage: "I want to get married. I want to marry daddy. Cause he wants to marry me too"

On finding out daddy's already taken: "I know.....I have an idea! We could marry daddy together!"

On her youth: "When I was a little girl I liked milk. But now I only drink Chai. 'Cause I don't like milk. 'Cause I'm too big for milk. Chai is sooooo yummy."

On our house: "I don't like white. I don't want a white house. I want to paint it purple. Can we paint it purple? I want an upstairs porch on our house, 'cause we only have a downstairs porch"

On cow manure: "I smell pirate poop!"

On being told we have a two pet policy: "I know! Sabot could go live at the babysitter's house and then I can have a cat!"

On her baby brother: "I know! Finley could go live at my friend's house. 'Cause I don't want a boy baby, I want a girl baby."

On asking Jesus to live in her heart: "He said SURE!"

On wanting a snack: "I know! We could go to Dunky Donuts and get some baby 'nuts" (that would be donut holes)

On daddy coming home: "I'm going to wear a princess dress and dance and daddy is going to say "Oh Skylar, you look so pretty!!!!" and I'm going to dance...and wear a princess dress....and dance. 'Cause I like to dance. "Cause I'm a ballerina."

......And that is just a sampling of the conversation that fills every.waking.second of my days.


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